Photo Credit: Liam Sment
Virginia Tech earned a statement win over Pittsburgh Thursday night, 74-55, extending the team’s winning streak to three games. This is the first time since December 10th that the Hokies have had a win streak this long.
“Things are starting to come together,” head coach Kenny Brooks said after the game. “[The players] are understanding their roles.”
The Hokies jumped out to an explosive start, scoring 28 total points in the first quarter. A quick 11-4 run to begin the game gave Virginia Tech the early lead. The team carried that momentum for the rest of the quarter, riding a 17-4 run to end in the last five minutes.
The Hokies continued to impose their will on the Panthers in the second quarter, stretching their lead to as many as 21 at one point. A late 13-3 run from Pittsburgh to end the half cut the Virginia Tech lead to 11 points. The Panthers dominated the paint for most of the quarter, grabbing seven offensive rebounds.
Cayla King led the Hokies with 9 points at the break.
In the third quarter, Virginia Tech preserved its lead through great offensive efficiency, shooting 50% from the field to open up the half. The Hokies also took care of the ball, only turning it over three times in the third quarter. That combination of sharp shooting and ball movement gave the Hokies a 15-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
In a season where the Hokies have struggled to close out games, they delivered in this fourth quarter.
Virginia Tech outscored Pittsburgh 17-13 in the fourth quarter, maintaining a double-digit lead until the end of the game. The team capitalized throughout when they forced turnovers, scoring 24 points off 17 Pittsburgh giveaways.
This win marks the first time the team didn’t trail a single minute since December 6th.
“A double-digit win on the road against a very scrappy team is always good,” said Brooks. “I think it’s good for our psyche, good for our confidence.”
“We’re starting to play the whole game.” said Elizabeth Kitley. “Before, we would go whole quarter long stretches where we would lose energy and lose focus."
She added that the team “came out and had fun” in the win.
Kitley led the Hokies with 20 points and 8 rebounds while Aisha Sheppard added 16 points, and Georgia Amoore had 13 points and 6 assists. Pittsburgh was led by Dayshanette Harris with 18 points and 6 rebounds, but also 7 turnovers.
Virginia Tech will play in its second of three straight road games when the team travels to Miami on Thursday to take on the Hurricanes at 6 p.m..